I witnessed something very special last Saturday night (April 9th). It was inspiring and heart breaking all at the same time. I have seen some incredible fights in my time, but what I witnessed in the cage last Saturday transcends everything to date. Lloyd Woodard vs. Jake Roberts was not only the main event, but also a piece of Montana MMA history, and I felt privileged to be there.
It wasn’t because a Bellator vet was facing off against an RFA champ. It wasn’t because it was the most technically fought or biggest knock out or crazy submission finish, it was because I saw a warrior defined.
After a fast start, something changed with Lloyd. I don’t know if it was because of a blow that landed or the effects of a one too many tough weight cuts, but Lloyd was struggling. But what followed next was an example of what legends are made of. Lloyd didn’t quit. In fact I watched him push past limits I didn’t think anybody could. And even though he was completely depleted, he was still completely dangerous. During a ground exchange I saw a transition to regain position and a serious Keymura threat that was as smooth as any BJJ Black Belt. During stand-up, Lloyd lashed out with a few punches, elbows, and spinning back-fists that had enough threat to keep Roberts respectful even though Lloyd had no legs under him.
So lets get to the heart of why I’m writing this. It’s not because I am such a Lloyd Woodard fan, it’s because I believe in giving respect where it’s due. A little trash talking here and there is one thing; after all, Cupcake is the king of verbal judo. But I have seen some disrespect directed at Lloyd over the past few months that I take exception to. I really dislike when people, ESPECIALLY fighters who have not yet earned their way, sh!t talk a person who literally paved the way for others to fight in this area, not to mention have fought on shows they have only dreamed of fighting on. With 20 Professional fights, Lloyd has sacrificed his body to this sport, fighting the toughest out there. Say what you want about Lloyd Woodard, but he reached down deep and kept going when most wouldn’t have even answered the bell. To any Connor McGregor wannabe trash talking Lloyd after his loss, let me know when you get your picture featured on the side of a semi for a major MMA promotion.